Sometimes it can feel that no matter where we look, we’re surrounded by doom, gloom, and disaster. Here are five negative impacts of negative news.
News is everywhere; on television, on the internet, in newspapers. No matter where we go, it is completely unavoidable.
Sometimes, when we’re faced with the constant news cycle, it can feel like there is nothing good going on, as often, mainstream news tends to focus on the negative and horrifying stories.
From natural disasters to death, poverty to crime, the influx of negative news can often feel very overwhelming. So, today, we’re taking a look at five negative impacts of negative news.
5. Can affect our relationships ‒ impacting how we act and treat others
First up on our list of negative impacts of negative news is its effect on our relationships with others. If all we’re seeing and reading every day is about how we’re going to be worse off or we’re going to be impacted by the next big disaster, it’s going to have an impact on how we think, feel, and act.
If we’re constantly reading about all of the bad things that are going on in the world, we’re going to feel angry, resentful, stressed, and even guilty. Thus, being faced with negative news all the time can make us act in desperate ways or act out in anger when we really don’t mean to.
Unfortunately, this can have a detrimental impact on our relationships. It may cause us to start arguments, fail to be present at important moments, and even act out in minor situations as we don’t feel able to show our friends and family enough love and care.
4. Can lead to hopelessness ‒ an endless spiral of bad news
If you’re constantly reading negative news about all of the bad things that are going on in the world, then how can you even imagine that good things are to come?
Being faced with a constant barrage of bad news can lead you to always assume the worst or think in a worst-case scenario mindset. This, in turn, can lead to fear, which stops you from taking positive actions or making change for the better as you assume all situations will turn out for the worst.
If you need some inspiration and uplifting news, you can use this Good News website to read about all the positive stories that don’t get as much airtime.
3. Creates an ‘us vs them’ or ‘good vs bad’ paradigm – adding to fear and hatred
One of the major negative impacts of negative news is it often finds a singular figure or group to blame, thus leading to increased fear and hatred and an ‘us vs them’ paradigm.
Negative news stories often fail to focus on nuances and details that fully make up a person and their behaviour, preferring to simplify stories into a black and white idea of what is great and what is awful.
This kind of news can lead to unconscious biases, adding to issues such as racism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, and more.
So, it is also important to read between the lines when it comes to news stories to get a better idea of the full picture rather than taking what you hear or read at face value.
2. Can lead to further negative behaviour – a constant spiral
Negative news can lead those reading or listening to feel threatened or desperate. Thus, it can lead many to react negatively in order to attempt self-preservation.
Some examples can be news of budget cuts leading to a rise in crime or stories from one country leading to racism and fear against people from that destination. There are many ways that negative news can lead to further negative behaviour and consequences as it fuels a cycle of fear and hatred.
1. Detrimental to our mental health – one of the main negative impacts of negative news
Topping our list of negative impacts of negative news is that it can lead to poor mental health. Linking back to many of the points above, reading and hearing constant bad news stories can lead to feelings of hopelessness, fear, and loneliness.
This, in turn, can manifest in mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. Today’s society is faced with an ever-growing mental health crisis, and the constant bombardment of negative news is no doubt adding to the issue across the generations.